Friday, December 26, 2008

At the crossroads

Stripes and Angles
LIC/ Jackson Crossroads
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Several corners meeting on Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street. The various stripes and angles intrigued me in this view.

Want to take a moment to thank you for reading the blog and keeping up with my artistic progress this past year. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, creative and peaceful 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New York Daily News article

NY hometown girl in NY's hometown paper

An article appeared in the New York Daily News/ Queens section on Tuesday, December 9th on my exhibit at Art-O-Mat. It has not been posted on their website, so I cannot provide a direct link.

L.I.C. artist canvasses her nabe for architecture in peril
By Brendan Brosh, Photo by Steven Sunshine

LONG ISLAND City's changing landscape is the subject of a new exhibition by a local artist who has become an unintended archivist of the neighborhood's architectural history.

Sharon Florin, whose exhibition "L.I.Changing" is on display at Art-O-Mat L.I.C. gallery on Vernon Blvd. until February, has been painting Long Island City buildings for nearly 30 years.

Many of Florin's subjects have been torn down in the last few years - casualties of the area's rapid redevelopment.

"I like to paint what is here today and might be gone tomorrow," said Florin, 56, who grew up in Woodhaven. "I want to capture a part of the neighborhood before it changes dramatically."

Florin's current exhibition includes 36 oil paintings, with familiar landmarks such as the Queensboro Bridge and PS 1 Contemporary Art Center.

Florin photographs her subjects from many angles before she starts a painting.

"You don't need multiple degrees in art history to appreciate her art," said Tobi Kahn, 56, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts who has shared studio space with Florin for almost 30 years.

"Her juxtaposition is beautiful. She always picks the right angle to paint from" he said.

Florin's attachment to the neighborhood is evident in her work, Kahn said: "She loves her subject matter."

Florin said she views Long Island City's redevelopment as part of the natural order.

"New York City is constantly tearing itself down and being reinvented," she said. "I just look through my viewfinder on my camera and try to find an interesting painting."

Florin's friends even tease her about the "Florin Curse," where buildings she paints soon disappear.

"I see her as a visual historian," said Louise Weinberg, 54, who curated the exhibition. "Her intent is to preserve the visual landscape, which is being rapidly torn down."

Florin, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1995, said her illness led her to quit her day job as a desktop publisher and devote her time to art.

"I realized life is short and I should be doing what I want to do," Florin said. "Thankfully, I'm still doing it."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


First stop in Queens

Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

One of my favorite paintings in the current show at Art-O-Mat. This subway sight greets me daily and I'm reminded of the faded elegance of many of the subway stations and of the marvelous and intricate mosaic work to be found. These are modest mosaics compared to some other stations, but there is beauty among the grittiness of the subway platform. I suspect that along with the thousands of new residents moving into the neighborhood in the not-to-distant future, this subway stop might undergo a renovation/ transformation once the economy rights itself.

The show "L.I.Changing" has been extended through February 8th. From now until December 22, the gallery will be open 7 days a week as well. I'm enjoying meeting people at the gallery and talking about the paintings and the neighborhood. For info on the show and Art-O-Mat click here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reception for "L.I.Changing"

Oh what a night it was

Oil on panel
6 x 6 inches

This painting is of a gentleman who lived in a building across the street from my studio. When I would take a break away from the easel and look out of the window, I would invariably see Ralph outside, puttering around his home. He's been my "neighbor" for the 28 years that I've had my studio. A few weeks ago I learned that he had passed away at a ripe old age. This was the last painting I did for the show, finishing it days before the hanging. It's strange now to look out my window and not see this familiar fellow. Time passes quicker than we know.

The opening reception for "L.I.Changing" at Art-O-Mat on Thursday night was a real blast! Lots of folks stopped by to see the work, say hello and just have a good time. A photographer from the New York Daily News was there as well, taking lots of photos of this artist and her work for an upcoming story to run in next week's paper. I've sold several paintings, some prints and books so far, and given this economy, I'm thrilled that my work is finding new homes to go to. A great start to what I hope will be a great run for this show. It was a very personal project and the fact that the work and subject matter is resonating with the audience coming to see the show is wonderful.